Thursday, 14 October 2010

EU Budget Debate

Yesterday, Parliament debated the EU budget, set to rise by 2.9% with Britain paying £7.7billion this year.

I abstained on the vote - i.e. refused to vote in favour of the budget - for two reasons. First, the government had itself voted against the rise with 6 other countries in August (but was outvoted under Qualified Majority Voting). Second, I could not bring myself to support increasing our contribution to a range of pet EU projects, whilst we are going through a period of cutbacks at home. You can read my speech in the debate here.

It was a lively debate, with widespread criticism of the European Commission seeking such an excessive increase in tough economic times. The government will now seek to resist any further increase by the European Parliament.


Richard Tebboth said...

There is much more discussion on this on

This vote was whipped: the government claimed
"if we withdrew our money from the EU, under its terms that would be illegal."
Where is our national sovereignty in this scenario?

All three major parties promised a referendum on the European Constitution or the Lisbon Treaty - the two are effectively identical.
Whilst this may now be technically irrelevant as the Treaty has been ratified, the question will not go away.

We need to have a proper debate about the value of our continued membership of the European project - an institution which has evolved out of all recognition since the public were consulted on joining the Common Market in 1975.

This 'elephant in the room' was the subject of many fringe meetings at Conference.

A Google search on the issue provides nearly 2m hits including

The infrastructure for a referendum will be in place for the AV vote next May; a vote on EU membership could readily be carried out on the same occasion.

Richard Tebboth said...

The [vote] referendum Britain really wants is on leaving the EU

Dom Raab said...

Most votes are whipped - it's how the government ofthe day gets its business through.

I suspect a Referendum Lock Bill makes a referendum much more likely in the mid-term.

Richard Tebboth said...

There are some weasel words in the Referendum Lock Bill; the Lisbon Treaty is self-amending.

Richard Tebboth said...

Dan Hannan has raised the issue again

We could easily have an EU referendum at the same time as the AV one

Post a Comment

The site policy is to publish all comments, unless abusive or anonymous.

Welcome to Dom's Blog

To sign up for my monthly bulletins, click here.

For my Privacy & Cookies policy, click here.

Dom's Podcasts

Watch Dom's Hardtalk interview here.

To watch Dom's recent podcasts, visit his You Tube channel here.

Local Campaigns

Local issues, National debate

Blog Archive

Follow Dom on Facebook